The notion of the feminine principle as a constructive, driving force in the world is becoming popular as of late. More and more people are subscribing to it in the hope that it holds the answer to the world’s plights, the perfect antidote to a world driven mad by masculine energy.
The trend is divided into two main categories, two kinds of people: those who deal with it on a realistic, secular level, which involves anything from the power of men in politics and senior management positions, to the male-dominated sports and the testosterone-packed movies of the entertainment industry, which they are fed up with; and those who regard it as the symptom of a blatantly testicle-driven set of religions that have shackled divinity to the tethers of man.
I am not going to concern myself with the secular part of the issue, not in this article. My aim is to expose the fallacy of those preoccupied with the religious side of things. These people, fed up as they are with the notion of God having been modeled and molded around the image of man, have decided to denounce their allegiance to it, calling it out for what it is: a self-serving, wishful-thinking, vicious-circling application of faith whose structure forbids it from escaping man’s limitations, binding the world to him, defining everything through his nature alone. Scores of people have woken up from this collective folly, seen the inanity of its setup and stepped back from it to give themselves a new lease on life, and you’d think that’s a good thing, and it might have been, if only they’d gone about things in a way that didn’t repeat the error of their ways.
From the All-Father to the All-Mother — think there’s a chance things won’t go wrong again, fast?
Embracing the opposite side of things, different only in name and gender, not one-sidedness, going from one extreme to the other, from absolute Paternalism to staunch Maternalism — wow! How self-defeating can a process get? Progress, they say, but how ironic the turn of events, the choice of solutions. Can’t its supporters, victims of absolutism for so long, see the signs on the wall?
At first glance the move seems to make sense. Many religions have talked about the Feminine Aspect in terms of divinity, ascribing to it the beauty, creativity, tolerance, nurture, and sanctity that permeate the world. Fierceness and fearlessness. The feminine element is a force of creation and caregiving, a mindful support mechanism, and those among us already fed up with the dead ends of our cold paternalist monotheisms are seeking refuge in femininity, looking for fresh ways with which to reclaim the divine. A different approach, they say, the opposite of what we’ve been suffering so far, nourishing in name and principle, warm, supportive, yet . . .
I have a theory on the surging popularity of this approach. It’s a convenient escape, a solution as misguided as it is pointless, leading people down a fresh dead end. The old problem in disguise, sporting a brilliant mask. A dangerous pitfall. Divine Femininity’s noble and redeeming qualities, which the disillusioned are exalting day and night, certain of their ability to deliver humanity from the evils of egotistic perception, they’re all fantasy, a great myth, a statement no more real than a self-serving man-God and the dogmas devoted to ‘Him.’ How could they not be? The Feminine Principle, the Maternal Alpha and Omega so in vogue lately, it’s just another deified abstraction, an anthropomorphized, value-laden label carried by the opposite gender on a justified but ultimately skewed platform. It succumbs to value-laden behavior of a different persuasion, exchanging one gonad for another.
The ugly beautiful ugly truth. It hurts to face (up to) it, but one can’t turn away from it either.
Fact is, if we’re talking deities and divinity and all things non-mundane, no divine force can ever correspond to things terrestrial or human. For divine force to have meaning, it has to transcend all temporal terms, lest it fall prey to the limits befalling our ancestors since time immemorial, becoming one more abstraction among many in human history, through which people will turn righteous and all-knowing, assuming control of other people’s lives and affairs, praising their own houses and getting carried away over the years until the beauty in their beliefs is drained, leaving behind the ugly sediment, the bitter bone sucked empty of blood and marrow. Just another dogma among dogmas supported by dogmatists eager to ride the wave of their own self-importance, pretending they’ve seen the light.
For any divine force to have meaning, it has to transcend all temporal terms. If it doesn’t, remaining defined by all-too human elements, the divine energy to which people are referring when seeking out religion, this extraordinary level of reality through which ordinary persons seek meaning, can’t live up to its potential. It remains constrained, restrained or otherwise defined by human-terrestrial parameters. It spoils the divine, turning it mundane, giving it properties that shape it and cripple it and limit it in ways that negate anything extraordinary. They give it a human body, creating the anthropo-God (how unimaginative and self-centered and utterly narcissistic); or an animal body, forging the elephant-headed Ganesha (yes, our gods are hybrids of animals and humans! Sounds legit!); or race — they give God race, ethnicity! — cooking up the Arab Allah, the Crystal Meth Jesus etc.
They give it gender, giving rise to the all-too popular and strangely monolithic Feminine Energy/Aspect/Abstraction.
As it stands, promoted and glorified by its devotees, Feminine Energy is just as partial, limited and, in essence, meaningless as Masculine Energy / Paternalist Dogma. Like all things human, it’s subject to predictable flaws. It draws boundaries and lines according to whim. It unites by dividing and conquering, by expecting and demanding and rejecting and assimilating. Where the Masculine ‘doesn’t care’ (bad energy, tyrannical energy), the Feminine ‘smothers’ (different MO, similar outcome). Where the masculine ‘forbids in the name of power’ (nasty callous man domination), the feminine ‘forbids in the name of tolerance’ (touchy-feely woman domination). Its attributes, positive and negative alike, are comparable to masculinity’s, completely unbecoming of the divinity they claim to represent; all too bland; all too human.
How to express the ineffable levels of divinity, for lack of a better term, without resorting to anthropocentric/geocentric language? Difficult — and another topic altogether — but when dealing with the denunciation of the meaningless ‘anthropo-God’ and its testicular essence, gender is clearly not the way to go. The ovary is not an antidote, and neither is the fallopian tube. As a substitute to Religious Paternalism, Religious and/or Spiritual Maternalism stinks.
Now about said divinity and mystery and all the wonderful things we knew when we were little, before we learned (or were taught) to unlearn them — the mysteries of a life larger than what we are tuned to perceive, conceive or otherwise entertain — they are real. They are real and they are spectacular, and they are neither masculine nor feminine, neither Christian nor Muslim, neither deistic nor agnostic. They’re incredible. Simply incredible — and beyond this world, for lack of a better term.
But that’s another story.
From your gender-bender Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.